The family estate of a 19-year-old Hampton County woman who died in a 2019 boat crash has filed a new legal action involving Alex Murdaugh, the prominent South Carolina attorney who reported finding his wife and son shot and killed at their Colleton County home in 2021.
In the early morning hours of Feb. 24, 2019, Mallory Beach, of Hampton County, was ejected into a Beaufort County river following a boat crash that injured several others, and her body was not recovered until a week later.
Several weeks later, Paul Murdaugh, son of attorney Alex Murdaugh and grandson of former 14th Circuit Solicitor Randolph Murdaugh III, was charged with three felony counts of boating under the influence. He had pleaded not guilty to all charges and was waiting trial when he, along with his mother, Margaret, were shot and killed on June 7, 2021. Both fatal incidents remain under investigation, and no arrests have been made in the double homicide.
On March 29, 2019, Renee Beach, Mallory’s mother, filed a wrongful death civil suit in Hampton County Court of Common Pleas. In addition to other parties allegedly involved in the sale of alcohol to minors, and other Murdaugh family members, this wrongful death suit names Richard Alexander Murdaugh, Paul’s father, individually and as Trustee of the Murdaugh Residence Trust 2. The Murdaugh Residence Trust 2 is a South Carolina Trust that owns two properties collectively referred to as “The Island” in the suit.
On Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021, Mark B. Tinsley, the Allendale County, S.C. attorney representing the Beach estate, filed a Lis Pendens action in Hampton County court involving Richard Alexander “Alex” Murdaugh and his surviving son, Richard Alexander “Buster” Murdaugh, Jr.
A Lis Pendens is a legal filing providing notice of a pending court action, such as a lawsuit, that affects title to, or possession of, real property.
This Lis Pendens states that the wrongful death suit may result in a lien on the large Colleton County home and hunting estate where Alex Murdaugh found his wife, Margaret, 52, and Paul, 22, shot and killed on June 7 in an unsolved case still under investigation by S.C. state police. The Lis Pendens also mentions a property in Edisto, S.C., owned by the Murdaughs.
The legal document lists: “1770 Acres in Colleton and Hampton County, South Carolina commonly known as the Moselle property. The land spans both Colleton and Hampton counties, with approximately 870 +/- acres in Hampton and just less than 900 acres in Colleton. Also, a lot with improvements in Colleton County at Edisto, S.C.” See the full document below.
This action comes after a week of notable developments for Alex Murdaugh. Around 2:30 p.m. on Monday, two days after a shooting incident in Hampton County left Murdaugh with minor injuries, a spokesperson for Murdaugh released the following statement that indicated he was entering rehab:
“The murders of my wife and son have caused an incredibly difficult time in my life. I have made a lot of decisions that I truly regret. I’m resigning from my law firm and entering rehab after a long battle that has been exacerbated by these murders. I am immensely sorry to everyone I’ve hurt including my family, friends and colleagues. I ask for prayers as I rehabilitate myself and my relationships.”
A day before the reported shooting incident, Murdaugh was confronted by partners at the Peters Murdaugh Parker Eltzroth and Detrick, PA, the law firm established by his great-grandfather in 1910, about misappropriated money. On Monday, Sept. 6, the PMPED firm released the following statement that included this information:
“On Friday, September 3, 2021, Alex Murdaugh resigned from the Law Firm. He is no longer associated with PMPED in any manner. His resignation came after the discovery by PMPED that Alex misappropriated funds in violation of PMPED standards and policies. A forensic accounting firm will be retained to conduct a thorough investigation. Law enforcement and the SC Bar have been notified by PMPED.”
The fallout from these new developments has been swift for Murdaugh. On Wednesday, the 14th Judicial Circuit, where Murdaugh had served as a volunteer prosecutor, formally ended its relationship with him, and the S.C. Supreme Court issued an order temporarily suspending his license to practice law.